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Thread: What are these?

  1. #1

    What are these?

    Came from an estate. They were in with some wood turning tools, all of which had very short handles like these. They were both sharpened on the curved ends but the edges are more like scrapers than cutting tools. One is hollow ground One edge is about a 45 degree bevel, the other, the hollow ground, is more like 30 degrees. I think far too blunt for carving tools.

    Anybody know what they are?




  2. #2
    I would guess they are homemade turning tools, likely similar to a skew chisel, just don’t have a specific name but served a particular need for the guy.

  3. #3
    Perry, is there a reason you suspect these aren't turning tools?
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  4. #4
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    I believe they are scrapers. The beveled edges wouldn't be unusual ... all my heavy scrapers are like that.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    If they are single bevels, then probably bowl scrapers. If double bevels, then they could be skews, even though the bevel angle is rather blunt. Inside bowl scrapers, I would guess.

    robo hippy

  6. #6
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    I'd suggest they are shear scrapers for inside a bowl. But you have to get to smooth steel by removing all those defects to get a quality burr. Simply sharpened now and it would be like shear scraping with a saw blade.

  7. #7
    The specialized shape and the fact that the cutting edge extends well along the side of the chisel makes me pretty sure they are bowl scrapers of some sort.

    That being said, I would be extremely scared to use them in ANY bowl. They are too small and there is no handle leverage. I can't imagine they'd be used on anything but the tiniest of work at the slowest of speeds.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    The specialized shape and the fact that the cutting edge extends well along the side of the chisel makes me pretty sure they are bowl scrapers of some sort.
    That being said, I would be extremely scared to use them in ANY bowl. They are too small and there is no handle leverage. I can't imagine they'd be used on anything but the tiniest of work at the slowest of speeds.
    I agree, when I saw the handles in the first photo I didn't even seriously consider them useful lathe tools. At least not lathe tools I'd want to use on a bowl or platter, although the grind might suggest it.

    Short handles on lathe tools generally suggest spindle turning instead of bowl turning due to the leverage issue mentioned. But if these are spindle tools they might have been reground from their original shape for special use or maybe just abused. Perhaps they were someone's experiment. If used as skews I'm having trouble imagining how stable they would be around the curve from the tip - I use several skews with curved edges but I've never tried a skew with such an extreme curve.

    If planning to use them one thing to do is take a triangular file to the working end and see if the metal is hardened. If not, the usefulness on the lathe would be minimized. The second thing I'd check is if the tools are mounted in the handles with tapered shanks like files; if so with ferrules like that the mounting might not be secure. If wanting to put them into use perhaps they could be reground into negative rake scrapers which can be used with very short (or no handles.)

    Are the back sides flat?
    People used to grind old files into lathe tools - could these have been files? They certainly look crudely ground on the sides.

    In the closeup the oddly curved one almost looks like the edge has had metal added with a welder with some spatter, then crudely ground off. Could the end have broken and been repaired? The other one also looks like it has something odd going on with the metal at the curved edge.

    Unless hurting for tools, these would at least be nice curiosities! Maybe someone who's seen or has similar tools will check in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    The specialized shape and the fact that the cutting edge extends well along the side of the chisel makes me pretty sure they are bowl scrapers of some sort.

    That being said, I would be extremely scared to use them in ANY bowl. They are too small and there is no handle leverage. I can't imagine they'd be used on anything but the tiniest of work at the slowest of speeds.
    Have you seen John Jordan's shear scraper? There is basically no handle, you use a sleeve around the blade. Properly sharpened these will be fine shear scrapers

  10. #10
    These could be used for fine finish cuts, in a shear scraping mode. They could be turned into NRSs. I would not use them for heavy bowl roughing the way I do.

    robo hippy

  11. #11
    I'd regrind them as negative rake scrapers for sure.

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